Saturday, September 09, 2006

An Evening with the Queen

Last night, I had the pleasure of dining in the presence of royalty. Israel blogging world royalty, that is. One of the few friends I've made in the three weeks that I've been in country, who I must say has been extremely good to me and has taken care of my Shabbat dinners for the past three weekends in a row, got me an invitation to my first bonafide all girls meal. And admist one pretty significant snafu, I brought a bottle of non-kosher Spanish red wine (I thought all the wine at AM PM was kosher, but apparently I was seriously wrong) discovered that there was a celebrity at the table. The Queen of Katamon herself, whose blog can be found on Jerusalem Post was there, and while no bowing or kissing of hands were required, I did find her tales of life and love quite interesting. I had read her blog a number of times, especially when Arye's blog was up for an award on the Jerusalem Post's blogging contest, but didn't really remember much of what I had read. Now that I met the woman behind the crown, I'm looking forward to reading what she's been writing. I got home at 2:00 am and promptly fell asleep.

Today, I spent the day with Howard Roark and Peter Keating and can finally say that I have finished the first section of The Fountainhead. When I started the book months ago, Jeorjie and I discovered that we were reading it at the same time, and had to encourage each other to stick with it. The first 25 pages were fascinating, and then it dragged for a while. But now, I'm finally hooked and I literally read for 3 hours straight this afternoon. I'm looking forward to reading the next section, told from the perspective of Ellsworth M. Toohey.

It doesn't look like I'm going to make it to Jerusalem this evening. Sadly, the last bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is at Midnight and by the time I get to the Kotel, I will have to turn around and head right back. I think I'm going to need at least a half hour at the Wall, I've got a lot on my mind. Hopefully, if all goes well with the move this week, I'll be able to spend the evening in the Old City on Thursday night. Hopefully, Avi won't have plans and will be able to meet up with me then too.

I'm not really sure how the official saying goes, but I spent some time this afternoon thinking about the following:

Those who don't learn from the past are bound to repeat it.

I've decided to learn from my past. I've met a lot of people the past few weeks and most of them have been "my kind of folk". But I've discovered, as of late, that there is one particular person who is extremely reminiscent of some of my past friendships. Bad friendships, I should stress. I've spent a lot of time today trying analyze who he is, and why he has become so attractive to me (and not, I stress, in the sexual way but rather that he so intrigues me). Partly because he is extremely lost, which I recognized almost immediately and before any of the alcohol could cloud my judgement, and it is in my nature to try to help those lost find themselves. But mostly, what I recognize, is a potential set up for a really bad situation where I literally become a minion, an admirer, a "chaser" and that all inevitably leads down to the proverbial heartbreak ridge. As an individual, he is kind and means well. We connect on a lot of levels, as we share a lot of common interests. The set up to a great friendship was there, but there was never any genuine follow through.


Partly because he is "center of attention" guy, the one who can't do one-on-one very well. I have a number of girl friends like him too, so this is really not a foreign concept to me. These are people who make plans with you, and your expectation is to spend time just with that person, and yet somehow three or four other friends end up in the mix. It's the insecurity that I recognize by this kind of behavior, as these people only feel good about themselves if they are surrounded by a large horde of admirers. Personally, unless I'm paid to work a room full of people, I prefer smaller groups. I am better one-on-one as I abhor small talk, I find it tedious, and would much rather sit on the beach with a friend and talk about things that matter.

For the girl friends that I have who do this to me, time and time again, I've come to accept it because our friendship has much more depth to it. At this stage, so much has been invested that I'd rather suck it up when it comes to hanging out then give up on some of the other worthwhile aspects to our relationships.

But when it comes to developing new friendships, I'd much rather say "no thanks" to this kind of person and just move on. It's an extremely bittersweet decision on my part. I'm sad because I saw such great potential - he was the kind of guy I could go to concerts with, who I could travel with, who would enjoy a smart/indie film like Thank You for Smoking, who I could have deep conversations with yet also laugh with about the lighter things like toilet bowl humor or analyzing pop culture in the US and Tel Aviv. And yet I'm proud of myself for recognizing the big downside, for having the foresight to look into the future and see myself disappointed with the inevitable last-minute-cancellation of plans, for imagining myself leaving message after message that is only returned days later because he's "too busy", "totally forgot" or "just didn't get around to returning the call" or even seeing myself show up at the agreed upon location (i.e. concert, bar, restaurant, beach) only to have him never show up at all because "something else came up" or "I totally forgot".

There are people in this world who can be friends with this type of guy, and I actually envy those folks. They're go with the flow type of individuals who couldn't care less. And, no matter how laid back I am, I just know myself well enough to realize that I can never be that laid back enough to tolerate someone who is all about the take, and none of the give in the friendship. Quite frankly, I'd rather be alone.

So tonight, I have a busy evening ahead of me. I am going to take Ayn Rand and head over to the laundromat to do yet another load of laundry and then it's back to work. I have a massive amount of reading to do before school on Monday, and tomorrow is so jam packed with errands that I'm relishing today's downtime before the whirlwind hits tomorrow.

And, in the meantime, any Tel Aviv readers who can recommend a good place to go to watch Sunday afternoon football tomorrow night, that would be much appreciated!

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